0.5 linear feet
This collection (0.5 linear feet) contains letters, diaries, documents, and other materials related to William G. and Carrie King Cornelison, a Pennsylvania couple who lived in Queensland, Australia, in the early 1890s. Additional items pertain to John and William King, Carrie's grandfather and father, respectively.
The Correspondence series (37 items) comprises the bulk of the collection and is mostly made up of the incoming and outgoing correspondence of William and Caroline King Cornelison. The series begins with 3 letters that William wrote to Caroline during their courtship about his work in Batoum (now Batumi), Georgia, between December 1887 and April 1888. He also received a letter from an acquaintance in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June 1889. From 1891-1893, Carrie wrote 22 letters to her family in Pennsylvania, each of them typically over 3 pages in length. She described her journey to Australia and discussed aspects of life in the country, such as her housing, her husband's work, and cookery. After the Cornelisons' return to the United States, they received 7 letters from friends in Australia. Other items include a letter from an acquaintance in New York (June 16, 1895), one from "Rash" King to his father and sister (November 8, 1896), and one from L. Ellen Wright to William K. King, her cousin (January 11, 1902). William sent the last letter of the series to Carrie on October 1, 1899.
The Diaries series contains 2 bound volumes and 3 groups of loose manuscripts in which William and Carrie Cornelison recorded details about their passage to Australia and their lives there. The first bound volume (183 pages) covers June 8, 1888, through February 11, 1893, and also contains the Cyrillic alphabet and Slavic phrases (pp. 179-183); a fragment from a drafted letter and a newspaper clipping on Leander Starr Jameson are laid into the back cover. The third group of loose manuscripts, dated 1928-1929, is Carrie Cornelison's record of her daily activities in Pennsylvania, which included sewing, washing, and other household tasks. The other diaries pertain to Australia and cover the dates December 25, 1891 (loose manuscript), March 1-August 4, 1892 (bound volume 2), and August 6-December 11, 1892 (loose manuscript).
Items in the Documents series (5 items) concern the King family's land ownership in northern Pennsylvania, a tax payment made by John King in 1829, and William Cornelison's account with the First National Bank of Shingle House, Pennsylvania. On the back of the account Carrie Cornelison recorded some of her thoughts about traveling to Australia.
John King kept 2 Arithmetic Books in 1796 and 1797. He copied and solved mathematical problems and principles, frequently related to practical applications of mathematical concepts.
The Photographs series (4 items) has card photographs of Mary King Mann, an unknown man, a home in Isisford, Queensland, and two of John King's descendants.
Ephemera (3 items) includes a newspaper clipping with extracts from Carrie Cornelison's Australian diary, William Cornelison's ticket for the Zealandia, and a clipping with photographs of paintings of Fedor Chaliapin and Grace Coolidge.